Breaking: Principal announces broad CIF sportsmanship protocols, delivers ‘egg wars’ warning in morning address

Payton Anderson and Jonathan Chen

Principal Brent Kline speaks to Palo Alto High School students in the first live InFocus broadcast in two years. Kline announced new sanctions on Paly sporting events leveled by the California Interscholastic Federation as a result of student behavior from last Friday’s rival football game. Although changes to Spirit Week were mentioned, decisions are still ongoing, according to Kline. “I believe that all of you absolutely know how to be a good person,” Kline said. “The actions we saw last Friday night were absolutely wrong, and completely unfortunate. This is not the Paly I know.” (Photo: InFocus)

In a live InFocus broadcast to campus this morning, Principal Brent Kline relayed California Interscholastic Federation-initiated sanctions on future Palo Alto High School sports events, delivered a blunt warning about “egg wars,” and announced minor Spirit Week changes, in response to last Friday’s rival football game and student egg fights. 

According to Kline’s statement, the CIF has banned students from attending the next football game against Menlo School, but students can still attend the Homecoming game against Homestead High School on Sept. 30.

“We will possibly be observed at our homecoming game by a league representative to ensure that our bad behaviors have left us,” Kline said, referring to the unsportsmanlike behavior on Friday, “If not, the ban will be continued for future football games.”.

Further misbehavior by Paly student spectators could lead to more sanctions on future sports games and even the forced withdrawal of Viking teams from the Central Coast Section tournament, according to Kline.

“Finalization of sanctions for Paly will be determined next week, and could possibly remain in place throughout the entire school year for all sports,” Kline said.

Students will also face stricter regulation during games, according to Kline.

“We will no longer allow students to hang out in the front aisle or the ramps,” Kline said. “Bag checks and possible breathalyzers will be used for those perceived to be under the influence.”

Measures against the use of illegal substances will also apply to the Homecoming dance, according to Kline.

“The dance will be the same but going back to the protocol of games, bags will be checked,” Kline said. “If we think you’re under the influence, breathalyzers will be used.”

Kline said the actions of last Friday alone were not the only driving force for these consequences, citing the potential return of “egg wars” — an unsanctioned Paly tradition that consists of seniors and juniors throwing eggs at each other — as another motivation to instate new sportsmanship policies. 

“It is the most undisputed terrible tradition I’ve ever heard of at a public high school,” Kline said. “Raw eggs, frozen eggs, have the potential to cause serious injury. In fact, they already have.”   

Although the alterations to Spirit Week may be less drastic than those described in the recent draft Associated Student Body minutes, minor changes are still under discussion, according to Kline.

“There will be some changes to Spirit Week, but Spirit Week, for the most part, will remain consistent,” Kline said. “You will have opportunities for assemblies and dress-up days will occur all week. More information on that will come later.”

Kline said the decision to restrict student access to sports games was based on the defiance of sportsmanship, which Kline said the Paly Athletic Department defines as “a person or group who can manage a loss or defeat without complaint or victory with honor without gloating,” while also treating “opponents including the opposing fans, with fairness, courtesy and respect.” 

According to Kline, the actions of those last Friday were clearly based on “naive thinking” and have now resulted in a negative outcome for all Paly sports. 

“All of you absolutely know how to be a good person and expectations for our Paly community, and the actions we saw last Friday night were absolutely wrong,” Kline said. 

Having spent three years getting to know the community, Kline said he believes that Paly is currently unrecognizable. The good spirit that was once all over campus has now “dissipated,” according to Kline. 

“It’s like I don’t know anyone anymore at Paly,” Kline said. “Where did that Paly spirit go?”